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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1937 (DOST Vol. I).
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Bere, Beir, v.1 Also: ber, berre, beir(e, beyr(e, bair, bayr, bare, bear(e, beer, P.t. bar(e, bair(e, bayr, baere; bur(e, buir(e, buyr(e, bw(y)ir; bore, boir, boor(e, bowir, P.p. born(e, bornne; bor(e, boir, boyr. [ME. bere (beere, beare, bare), beren, OE. beran (ONhb. beara). The p.t. corresponds to ME. bare, bar (OE. bær) and bore (rare before 1600), and the p.p. to ME. born, boren (OE. boren), southern bore, whence the forms without -n in Sc.]In addition to the senses illustrated below, the verb also occurs in a number of special phrases, for which see the nouns, as company, hand, witnes, etc.

I. 1. tr. To hold (up) or carry in the hand(s) or on some other part of the body; to serve as a support to.To bere the croun: see Croun n.(a) 1375 Barb. i. 617.
Ik have ane othir it [sc. the seal] to ber
a1400 Leg. S. v. 72.
Drusiane … We beyre nov to enterrit be
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 328.
Berand gret charges with hym … Of gold
c1420 Wynt. i. 732.
Thai wyll wyth thame that appyll bere
Ib. viii. 2026.
Wapnys … As manly men than oysyde to bere
1456 Hay I. 294/2.
To were wedis that the tothir brethir mycht nocht lefully bere
Ib. II. 12/11.
To bere him, that he suld nocht ga on fute
c1460 Consail Wys Man 257.
Tak na byrding bot thow may bere
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 88.
Til a man that beyris Sanct Fyllanis bell
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vi. 100.
Berand a barell on a styng
Ib. vii. 42.
That beris helme or scheild
1511 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 107.
The stull … will nocht ber ane myll stane
1513 Doug. i. viii. 13.
On hir schulder the arrow cace baris sche
Ib. iii. v. 25.
Berand tharof the septre and the wand
1531 Bell. Boece I. 66.
Beirand his handis to the hevin
c1540 Lynd. Syde Taillis 53.
Peter nor Paule … Gart neuer beir vp thare taillis
1554–5 Edinb. B. Rec. III. 358.
For thre warkmen to beir the rufe
1568 6th Rep. Hist. MSS. App. 658/1.
Nailling to bracis to bair the tronke
a1570-86 Maitl. F. xxxi. 28.
Grit parrell is … To beir the saill [etc.]
1597 Skene Verb. S. s.v. Pede.
Ane pedder … quha beirs ane pack
1607–8 Mun. Univ. Glasg. III. 559.
For ane peice trie to beir the wall
(b) 1375 Barb. v. 606.
The tothir bath suerd and hand-ax bair
Ib. 627.
The brothir that the hand-ax bar
c1420 Wynt. iii. 224.
Thretty men that … Ryche robys on thame bare
Ib. v. 434.
That senyhe That Bretownys bare
c1475 Wall. iv. 548.
A bow he bair
1513 Doug. i. iv. 56; Ib. iii. v. 7; etc.
The ledaris … Quhilk on thar hedis bair the tyndis hie
1585 James VI Ess. 39.
Who in her virgin hand a riche crowne bair
c1475 Wall. iii. 221.
Ten scor thai wan of hors that cariage bure
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 168–9.
All thir bure ganyeis … ; But Resoun bure the Targe
1513 Doug. vi. i. 69.
Sevin ȝong stottis, that ȝok bur nevir nane
1549 Compl. 68/25.
Sche bure ane scheild
15.. Clar. i. 10.
Ane of them buir his bricht helme him before
1562-3 Winȝet I. 59/20.
Gif kingis … buir nocht a suord
a1578 Pitsc. I. 251/25.
Scho buire mony cannons
a1570-86 Maitl. F. lxxxvi. 13.
My secund brother buyr the pak
1627 Reg. Privy C. 2 Ser. II. 24.
The said Johne Hammiltoun boore and wore pistolets
c1650 Spalding I. 40.
The Erll of Glencarne bure the scepter, quhilk the Erll of Rothas bure the first day
(c) a1500 Colk. Sow i. 280.
Borne wes his banair Vpoun a schule
a1500 Seven S. 805.
Wald God I had bene borne on beire
c1500-c1512 Dunb. vii. 70.
The suerd … Be borne suld highe before thé
1537 Lynd. Depl. Magd. 149.
Under ane pale of gold … Be burgeis borne
1570 Sat. P. xviii. 12.
This commoun weill had borne the laurell blume

b. To bear as a charge, etc., in arms, or in phr. to bere armis. 1375 Barb. xvii. 238.
Fiff hundreth men … That armys bar of ancistry
? 1398 Fordun (1759) II. 423.
I beer a py pykkand at ane pes
c1420 Wynt. viii. 1455.
In thase armeys bath thai bere The sternys
Ib. 7116.
The armys off Fraunce that he bare
c1450-2 Howlat 366.
He bure a lyon … of gowlis full gay
Ib. 535.
The Dowglas in armes the bludy hart beris
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 383.
The squyer buir, into his scheild, Ane otter in ane siluer feild
1561 Antiq. Aberd. & B. III. 502.
Berand armes of differens aither fra vthir

2. To carry, convey, or transport, from one place to another.Usually with advs. or preps. as away, doun, to or till.(a) 1375 Barb. iv. 630.
Men mycht thaim se … beir to se bath ayr and steir
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 224.
Lele men sall … ber myn corse away with thame
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1037.
Jupitere … Gert the egyle … bere hym wp in to the ayre
Ib. vi. 1266.
That that chyld mycht a lettyr bere Til hys wyff
c1460 Thewis Gud Women 188.
Be nocht redy chargis to tak, Na erandis bere
1494 Treas. Acc. I. 251.
To vij men … berand the tymmyr of the auld schipe tyll a hous
a1500 Bk. Chess 2000.
Currouris that beris letteris to & fro
1513 Doug. ii. ix. 69.
Beir hym this message
Ib. v. vi. 14.
Cum bayr the pryce away
1542 Treas. Acc. VIII. 133.
To four barrowmen … baring of lous erd and stane furtht of the samin [clos]
1555 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 297.
To beir twa fyrn spars to the Newhevin fra Leyth
Ib. 300.
To beir down her small wark … to Leyth
1594–5 Misc. Spald. C. V. 59.
For bering thame to Alex. Jaffray's hows
(b) c1400 Troy-bk. i. 195.
Thare harnes all to schype thai bare
c1420 Wynt. i. 364.
Tyll a crag … He bare hym fast
Ib. vii. 3131.
Hyr cors thai tuk wp and bare ben
1456 Hay I. 241/2.
The custume … that women bare the sede to the laboure
1513 Doug. ii. xi.
Quhou Eneas hys fader bayr away
1567 Crim. Trials I. 495.
He bare up ane toome poulder barrel
a1499 Contempl. Sinn. 1073.
Doun fra the croce Josephe Jhesu bure
a1500 Seven S. 413.
Oft the price he bure away
1501 Treas. Acc. II. 129.
To ij childer that bure the organis … our the Month
1535 Stewart 38583.
To Crissin bereis … [he] thame buir
a1540 Freiris Berw. 573.
He … to the dur delyverly him bure
(c) c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2796.
He was borne away as deide
c1420 Wynt. i. 211.
He wes the fyrst at gart be made Pentys to be borne aboute
15.. Clar. v. 2816.
His chyre to chalmer was borne royallie

b. In various phrases relating to the acquisition or loss of possession. 1474 Acta Aud. 33/2.
To be … joysit be the said abbot & conuent, ay & quhill … William schew sum thing to ber it lauchfully fra thaim
1478 Ib. 62/1.
The questioun quhether the gift of the landis … in lif rent suld ber the Countas … fra hir terce or nocht
1496 Acta Conc. II. 22.
The saidis Lordis … reservis to hir the richt that may pertene to hir gif scho schawis the richt that may bere hir thairto

3. To carry by impact; to drive, thrust, or press. Also fig. 1375 Barb. vi. 141.
His hors, that was borne doune
Ib. viii. 56.
Sum in the furde thai bakward bare
c1420 Wynt. viii. 4698.
Thai bare down buskis in thare way
Ib. 5259.
Throw thame bath his spere he bare
1456 Hay I. 50/18.
Quhare mony worthy man … was borne doune dede to grounde
c1475 Wall. vii. 823.
The battaill on bak v akyr breid thai ber
c1536 Lynd. Compl. Bagsche 82.
I bure hym bakwart to the ground
15.. Clar. v. 2237.
Clariodus … buire the knightis from thair horse alloft
1622-6 Bisset I. 112/25.
To repell and beir a bak utheris
c1650 Spalding I. 9.
The Erll … set thame a syd and boor them doun

b. To pierce with a weapon. c1420 Wynt. viii. 5017.
Ramsay … hym owt throw the body bare
Ib. 5222.
Ramsay wes … Borne throw the helme wyth a spere
c1475 Wall. iii. 145; Ib. v. 1106, etc.
Wallace the formast in the byrneis bar

c. intr. To make a thrust or stroke. 1513 Doug. x. x. 24.
The tother … Buyr at hym mychtyly with a lang speir

d. To direct one's course. 1513 Doug. x. vi. 16.
Haist owr the flude, bair to the schoir

4. a. To bear or have as a distinctive mark, quality, dignity, etc.See also the various nouns, as cure, gre, name, office, price. 1375 Barb. xx. 130.
The rialte that his douchter bar
a1400 Leg. S. ii. 591.
For to bere myn name
c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 2878.
None vthir that euir lyve baire
c1420 Wynt. v. 3645.
Offycerys that off hym bare Cure or state
1443 Antiq. Aberd. & B. IV. 36.
Considerand the office that yhe bere
1456 Hay I. 83/29.
He … beris the mare honour of hardynes
Ib. II. 64/19.
He is nocht worthy to bere that … noble ordre
a1500 Bk. Chess 245.
Of the realme … The rewll he beris
c1500-c1512 Dunb. G. Targe 256.
Thou beris of makaris the tryumph riall
1513 Doug. ii. ii. 54.
Sum name of wyrschip and autorite bair I
Ib. v. ii. 52.
To preif hys picht … and bair the gre
1556 Peebles B. Rec. 231.
The inqueist ordanis the breid to beir the pais [etc.]
a1578 Pitsc. I. 22/30.
So lang as ȝe beir the gouernance of this realme
1622-6 Bisset II. 225/27.
The capitanis … berand cuir in schipis

b. To bear, nourish, in the mind or heart; to feel. c1400 Troy-bk. ii. 1351.
Agane … the king Berand full angerly his thocht
1456 Hay II. 154/21.
Quhilk … may consave tresoun in his hert … and bere it secret
1494 Reg. Episc. Morav. 219.
The luff ue ber to the sade reverend fadir
1513 Doug. ix. xii. 112.
That in hys mynd and breist all tymys bar Sangis and gestis
1549 Compl. 3/17.
The feruent loue that ȝour grace baris touart … ȝour only dochtir
1558 Misc. Wodrow Soc. 112.
Berand perpetuale disdane aganis the generale Counsalis
1563 Ib. 212.
As I buire hatred to the Councels
1596 Dalr. I. 348/3.
The ire that his harte buir against Wallase
1609 Crim. Trials III. 47.
Maxwell … buir the same [grudge] within him selff
1616 Misc. Hist. Soc. II. 175.
For loue or favor he boor to anie

c. To bear, endure, suffer, as a burden, pain or punishment, etc. Also intr. to put up with, to endure.(1) c1420 Wynt. v. 2880.
That he suld tholle and bere pennans
1456 Hay I. 160/17.
Thare suld na man bere ane otheris synnis
Ib. 232/36.
He aw nocht to bere punycioun
c1420 Ratis R. 1035.
Thow sal bere al the blame
1513 Doug. i. xii. 10.
Mysery … Quharof myself a gret part bayr
1532 Edinb. B. Rec. II. 60.
Till … beyr all portable charges … within this burgh
a1500 Peblis to Play 23.
Thy bak sall beir ane bend
1549 Treas. Acc. IX. 358.
To ane commissair … to beyr his expens
a1570-86 Maitl. F. cxiii. 22.
Instructand me to patientlie My trouble beir
(2) 1558-66 Knox II. 383.
Be [= by] bearing with impietie
1562-3 Winȝet II. 78/15.
That thai wynkit and burne with sum
1567 Sat. P. iv. 98.
Quhat breist can beir bot man lament my deid

d. To support, carry, hold, etc. c1460 Thewis Wysmen 325.
Thai can nocht bere prosperytee Na warldis welth
1513 Doug. xiii. ii. 91.
Beir ȝour myndis equale
1520 Fife Sheriff Ct. 178.
The grond … will beyre in pastoring four score … of hyrdwyse nolt

e. [After ON. bera.] To bear witness to. 1509 Rec. Earld. Orkney 84.
The quhilkis persons bure, swere, and schew ilk penny land in skyft and towmal [etc.]

5. refl. To bear or conduct (oneself). 1375 Barb. xiv. 77.
The Scottis men in that fechting Swa apertly and weille thame bar
Ib. 275.
Gif that we beir ws manfully
c1420 Wynt. v. 4078.
Till ilk man famylyere In all aport he couth hym bere
Ib. vi. 1168.
I bare me noucht than As I suld hawe dune
1456 Hay I. 29/23.
A scorpioun … plesandly beris hir in company
a1500 Seven S. 2600.
This child … bure him … Sa meike, sa sweit & sa lawly
1513 Doug. i. viii. 17.
Dido … hir blithly bair Amyd thame all
Ib. xii. ix. 47.
He … buyr hym law
a1540 Freiris Berw. 205.
Into this case … how sall I me beir
a1570-86 Maitland M. Fol. xvi. 14.
Quha in the feild maist valeantlie him beiris
1626 Garden Worthies 7.
Bravly thow thé boore

b. intr. To carry oneself; to act, behave. c1500-c1512 Dunb. xxvi. 80.
Than [came] Lichery … Berand lyk a bagit hors
Ib. lvii. 15.
Sum beiris as he wald ga wod
1572 J. Maitland Sat. P. xxxvii. 47.
Gif ȝe beir strange, thai ȝow esteme our stay
a1578 Pitsc. I. 171/27.
The lordis … buire fair quhill they saw thair tyme

6. To bear or exhibit in writing; to state or allege; to purport.Frequently followed by that, or in clauses beginning with as. 1478 Acta Aud. 75/2.
His lettre of obligatioun … bering the sett of the sammyn [landis]
1482 Ib. 101/1.
Als the indorsing … proportit and bure the sammyn
1488 Treas. Acc. I. 93.
For the byggin … of the Hwnt Hall, lykeas his bil beyris
1496 Acta Conc. II. 19.
Ane instrument quhilk bure that he … gaif his consent
1510 Reg. Privy S. I. 326/2.
As the last fute of compt … beris in the self
1526 Dunferm. B. Rec. 281.
Ane letter berand in to effek that he [etc.]
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 4395.
As at more lenth thare storye beris
1574 Inverness B. Rec. I. 239.
His bill … berand that the Wattir of Nes [etc.]
1600 Misc. Bann. C. I. 163.
It buir that his Majeste was delyuered out of ane perrel
1641 Kirkcudbright Min. Bk. 157.
As the said supplicatione at length beires
1666 Melrose R. Rec. II. 148.
A testificate … beering that they received custome [etc.]

b. To bear as an inscription or device. 1572 Reg. Privy C. II. 160.
The plakkis … bering in the circumscriptioun the dait … 1557
1622-6 Bisset II. 110/9.
On the west syde ar stones … berand this tytill

II. 7. tr. To give birth to; to bring forth. Also intr. To bere that (etc.) birth: see Birth n.(a) a1400 Leg. S. xvi. 259.
That he mycht get & scho beyre barnis
c1420 Wynt. i. 702.
Sum mudrys in that land alsua Berys bot anys
1490 Irland Mir. I. 101/23.
To bere that blist child
c1552 Lynd. Mon. 1057.
All thy bairnis sall thou bair with dolour
1563-1570 Buch. Wr. 31.
That … scho sould beir na ma childrene
(b) a1400 Leg. S. v. 22.
The ȝungaste that Anna bare
c1420 Wynt. v. 4160.
Off hir body scho bare bot man
Ib. vi. 1940.
That sowne that he gat scho bare
a1500 Bk. Chess 1222.
To this woman come … a douchter that scho bair
1513 Doug. iii. v. 112.
The child … Quham to thé bayr Crevse
1560 Rolland Seven S. 148/6.
Sen my mother me bair
a1605 Montg. Flyting 293.
The bellie that it first bair full bitterly they ban
c1475 Wall. ii. 211.
Wepyt … In fureous payne, the moder that the bur
a1500 Bernardus 156.
Thar formodyr Eua that tham bure
c 1560 Stirlings of Keir 414.
Jonat Lany … bowir to him sonis and dochtiris
1570 Leslie 145.
Lady Anne Bulleyn … buyre to him ane dochter
1611-57 Mure II. 254.
She bure vnto him Johne
1638 Lundie Poems 39.
My mother that me buir
1649 Wemyss Chart. II. 231.
My … beid I boir my shildrein in
(c) a1400 Leg. S. ix. 137.
Sa suld he One a … virgine be borne
c1420 Wynt. ii. 1.
Befor that Ihesu Cryst wes borne
Ib. vi. 1215.
This chyld now borne empryour sall be
1456 Hay I. 3/19.
The land of Provence of quhilk I am borne
Ib. 190/28.
God … was borne under the umbre of mariage
c1475 Wall. iv. 175.
Othir als that borne war of Argill
c1500-c1512 Dunb. xliv. 31.
Sen scho hes borne him in hir halines
1513 Doug. 916/1.
Of Mantua am I beget and boir
c1550 Lynd. Meldrum 109.
Till he did see hir … nakit as scho was borne
1586 St. A. Kirk S. 566.
[Thay] grantis that Elspot has ellis born ane barn

8. To produce as fruit or as a crop. Also intr. c1420 Wynt. v. 154.
That palme tre That datys bare
Ib. vii. 469.
Bathe frwyt and floure all lyk to bere
c1450-2 Howlat 27.
The birth that the ground bure
a1500 Seven S. 310.
To gud the tre … to gar it bere
1549 Compl. 26/18.
Ȝour treis sal bayr frute
Ib. 123/33.
The fertilite that the grond maye bayr
a1568 Scott xxx. 45.
As grund is ordaned to beir seid
1596 Dalr. I. 31/21.
Argyle … to beir kornes … is verie vnmeit

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"Bere v.1". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



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